FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Officials in Madera County are looking ahead to fire season because of the four million dead pine trees in the mountains.
USDA: Bark Beetles in California Conifers (PDF)
The Board of Supervisors says crews have already cut down a couple thousand dead trees along roadways in the last 2-months. The trees have been killed by the western pine beetle. The drought has left the trees weak and vulnerable to the pest.
Cal-fire says the situation could make for another busy fire season.
"The amount of dead fuel material, the fuel loading that's out there now is unprecedented. This state has never seen a drought like this and this much dead vegetation across the landscape," said Len Nielson, Cal Fire Unit Forester.
Madera County recently received a $325-thousand grant to help with tree removal. Crews will start removing dead trees along six more county roads in the mountains starting Wednesday.